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cats and smokers

March 24th, 2012, 10:55 PM
Hi everyone,
I'm just wondering if anyone knows whether stroking a cat after smoking is bad. My partner smokes (outdoors) and sometimes would like to pet the cats. Their fur smells like cigarettes after being petted. I'm very worried that this is bad for the cats because they could be licking something or invisible-the-eye cigarette ashes from their fur. We always have arguments about this. He refuses to wash his hands and I tried everything. He had a 19 year old cat that passed away because she developed a tumour under her tongue. The vet removed it but she could not groom nor eat anymore and had to be euthanized. We didn't have the tumour examined because we were so distressed.
Am I being a neurotic? paranoid?

March 25th, 2012, 12:01 AM

I am a smoker, and I have 8 cats. I always smoke outside, even in winter, as I do not like the smell to linger in my house, even if I am a smoker!

I always wash my hands after I'm done smoking outside before I pet my cats, as yes, even for a smoker, I find that the smell can go on the cats, as well as on other things like furniture, and I really dislike smelling tobacco on my hands afterwards.

I ask the same of my friends who are smokers when we get back in the house, because not only the smell goes on the cats, it also goes on the furniture!

As for your partner petting your cat after, with remaining nicotine and so many toxic chemicals on the fingers, I am not sure if there are any studies done about the matter, but since smoking is BAD for humans, I think it is also bad for cats or other pets to be exposed to the toxic chemicals of cigarettes.

Perhaps if you explain your concerns calmly and directly to your partner; that you are concerned about your cat's health, the remaining smells and the possibility of toxicity to your cat, he will surely understand your point of view, it goes both ways of course, you should also listen to his opinion!

I don't think you are over reacting or making too big a fuss about this. After all, a responsible pet owner has to take into account all the considerations to keep their pets healthy!

Then again, if your partner, or anyone else refuses to wash their hands before petting your cat, then I think it is in your right that you refuse also that they pet your cat!

Hope this helps!


March 27th, 2012, 09:20 PM
We had a heart to heart discussion about this before. It sure is hard to live with a stubborn man!
Thanks a million for your thoughts!
Have a nice day.

April 3rd, 2012, 08:42 AM
Hi, this was just published on the web site PetsPlace...
It talks about cats and second hand smoke!

From PetsPlace

""Don't let this list scare you.

Everyone would love to have their cat live a long healthy life. However, many cats are taken away from us far too soon. Sometimes it is due to things beyond our control, but other times it's the result of a preventable problem.

Taking care of your cat's life is a lot like taking care of your own. There are genetic factors, but there are things in the environment that change life expectancy as well.

Many risk factors can shorten life expectancy. For example, if you were to ask your physician about risk factors for early human death some would be drug and alcohol abuse, obesity, low/no exercise, and driving without a seatbelt (just to name a few).

Have you ever thought about what the risk factors would be for cats?

Here are some of the factors that can lead to a shortened lifespan in cats:

No ID tag: Cats without ID tags may be lost and never reunited with their owners.

No Microchip: Tags can fall off, but microchips are never lost. Many clinics and shelters give cats with microchips a little extra care should they ever run away and get hurt. They will be stabilized and treated by veterinarians and given extra time for their owners to find them. For more information - go to Microchipping Your Cat

Cats Allowed to Roam: There are pros and cons to allowing your cat to go outside. There are some indoor/outdoor cats that live long healthy lives, but tons don't. They meet the fate of car accidents, animal attacks, and malicious humans not to mention the possible exposure to many infectious diseases. An alternative is to create a big screened in porch area where they can be out and safe. Some owners create a cat safe fenced yard that doesn't allow them out nor other animals in. For more thoughts- go to Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats.

Secondhand Smoke: Risk of lung problems and cancer is higher in cats routinely exposed to second hand smoke.

Access to Trash: Cats that are allowed access to trash can get into things that can cause life-threatening conditions. Think of everything that you throw into the garbage. What would happen if your cat ate it? Dental floss, yard, string, and ribbon are a few problem products. For more information on the dangers of trash go to Foreign Bodies in Cats

No Vaccines: Cats not given vaccines are at risk for multiple preventable diseases such as feline leukemia, panleukopenia, and more. For more information go to Vaccine Recommendations for Your Cat
No Heartworm Prevention: You've probably heard of heartworm disease in dogs but it is also seen in cats. It is often very difficult to treat in cats (more so than in dogs) and can be fatal. It is easily prevented by giving routine monthly medication. Go to Heartworm Prevention in Cats

Not Being Spayed or Neutered: Cats that are not spayed are at higher risk for mammary tumors (breast cancer) as well as a potentially fatal uterine infection called pyometra. Unaltered males are more likely to fight and escape the house to roam, allowing them the opportunity to get hit by a car or shot. For more information go to Neutering and Spaying Your Cat

No Check-ups: Cats without routine check-ups can have problems that can be preventable. Early diagnosis can cure many diseases.

No Emergency Plan: Owner that don't have any plan or resources to pay for health problems is a common cause of early death. I've seen very treatable problems lead to euthanasia because of lack of financial resources to treat those problems. Problems as simple as a broken leg or infection ended very sadly.
So what can you do? Vaccinate, spay and neuter your cat, microchip and keep him or her on monthly flea and heartworm prevention medications. Keep a collar and ID tag on your cat and keep him or her inside or on a leash/in an enclosed area when outdoors. Keep them out of the trash, up-to-date on vaccinations, and see a vet regularly. And take a few moments to consider your plan in case an emergency strikes; you don't want to say goodbye to your cat earlier than necessary.

Please don't let this list scare you. It might seem like a lot, but chances are you're already making sure that most of these things don't happen to your cat Read through the list and remember that it's easier to prevent a problem than it is to solve it later.

Until next time,

Dr. Jon""


Jim Hall
April 4th, 2012, 07:51 AM
To the Dude

Wash your hands I mean what a ridiculous thing to fight over

TO sandy any kind of positive reinforcement to the above would probably work.

April 4th, 2012, 08:57 AM
If your partner smokes outdoors and then pets the cat, aside from the smell transfer from the hand to the cat fur, I don't see any health risks to the cat.

But your partner should wash his hands JUST BECAUSE you asked him to, period.

Let's be real - the hands of a cigarette smoker smell bloody awful. The transfer to the cat makes the cat's fur smell. It is not at all a big deal for your partner to wash his hands.
You are NOT being unreasonable at all.....your partner is.
He is acting like a stubborn child and needs to be punished. Maybe you should withhold something from him. :laughing: :evil:
Good luck.